Food, kite and other traditions of Makar Sankranti
Uttarayan is the northern transit of the Sun or Lord Surya and the sun enters Makar Rashi or Capricorn. The date for Uttarayan 2022 is January 14 in Gujarati calendars.
The day is known as Makar Sankranti or Sankranti. In South India, the northern transit of the Sun is known as Uttarayana Punyakalam for a period of six months and is said to be the day of the Devas.
The term Uttarayan is commonly used in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The transition from the sun, or Surya Sankranti, to Makar or Capricorn, is considered highly auspicious and meritorious. According to Saint Jaimini, 12 hours and 46 minutes before and after Sankranti are considered sacred.
During this time, giving and helping the poor is believed to bring merit to the donor.
Symbolically, the northern path is considered the path of Moksha.
In Uttarayan, millions of people bathe in the sacred rivers, especially in Ganga and Yamuna, especially in Prayag or Sangam of Allahabad. Thousands of people also bathe in Gangasagar in Bengal.
The grains of the new harvest are used to cook a dish known as “khichdo”. Another important ritual is the exchange of a mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery by friends, relatives and neighbors.
The exchange of sesame and jaggery symbolically suggests people forget and forgive all the bad will and past fights and start anew on Uttarayan.
Sweets and special delicacies like laddoos, undhiyu, tal-sankadi, chiki, surati jamun are prepared during the festival.
Uttarayan is essentially a cult of nature and Surya or Sun God is worshiped during the day. Cows, oxen and other domestic animals are also bathed and fed on sweets and fresh grass.
Special pujas are made for the welfare of domesticated animals and plants because human existence depends on it.
Uttarayan is a two-day festival in Gujarat and an international kite festival takes place during the period in Ahmedabad.
Thousands of kites fly during the period and kite competitions are also held in many areas.
People gather on rooftops and terraces to fly kites on this day.
Kite enthusiasts from different parts of the world arrive in Ahmedabad to participate in the international competition.
The festival has become so popular that there is an entire market named after the Patang Bazaar kites in Ahmedabad.
But how the kite got attached to the Uttarayan festival is a mystery. The kite has been part of the Uttarayan festival for over 1000 years.
The kites are said to have arrived in Gujarat through Muslim traders.
Makar Sankranti 2022: Date, Auspicious Times, Mahurat, Meaning and History